The Long Look: Thinking 20 Years Out

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CINCINNATI-When it comes to planning for facilities, DEI says more credit unions are looking out well beyond 10 years.

"A lot of folks are not only interested in planning for the next five to 10 years, but some are saying let's look longer term," noted Michael King, VP strategic planning for DEI. "We recently provided seven credit unions with information that will sustain them over next 15 to 20 years."

Longer-term thinking is even more critical for facility planning, stressed King. "If you are looking five years ahead for a branch project-redesign or new facility-it's going to take 12 to 18 months to go through the entire process."

Branch profitability has been an increasing CU focus, King said. "For example, instead of having a loan officer on one side of the location and an MSR on other side, we are recommending having one universal person to serve both sides of the ledger."

As a result of the economy, King conceded there are generally two types of CUs when it comes to preparing for the future. "One that does not see the light at the end of the tunnel and chooses to do nothing, and then the other that positions itself to take advantage of the banks' troubles. Those folks doing nothing and waiting to see what will happen with the economy will be behind the proverbial eight-ball and two steps behind organizations that are doing strategic planning today."

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